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31 Oct 2023

Zoe Hu, Drapers

Global: Office cancels winter orders with suppliers after lower than anticipated sales

"Office cancels winter orders", 31 October 2023

Drapers understands the cancellations were driven by lower than anticipated sales in September and early October amid unseasonably warm weather.

One industry source said: "Sales haven't been as good as [Office] wanted over the past few weeks, and some of the winter products have been cancelled [as a result]."

Another source indicated that high stock levels is an issue across many retailers due to the sluggish start to the season: "Inventory levels are high in a lot of shops and retailers cancel goods because they haven't had sell-through [at the start of the autumn/winter season]. I don't think trade is as good as any retailer would want it to be at the moment but I'm hoping if the weather settles down a bit, we will get some sales coming through."

Indeed, the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) indicated a slump, with retail sales volumes falling by 0.9% in September, compared with the same month last year, as retailers bemoaned unseasonably warm weather for reducing autumn purchases.

Meanwhile, other retailers across the clothing and footwear space are pushing back deliveries of their winter products in the hope sales will increase in the lead-up to Christmas. Suppliers that have experienced delays said orders were pushed back by around two to four weeks and voiced concerns of more cancellations if sales continue to struggle.